22 years ago, Congress set out to stop dangerous and incompetent caregivers from practicing in different states when they have already been sanctioned in one state. It demanded the creation of a national database which would be a compilation of health care providers with disciplinary action from every state. Unfortunately, 22 years later, the federal government hasn’t accomplished this goal.
The database is not available for view by the public. It was designed to be used by employers considering the hiring of applicants. Unfortunately, the database, according to the Los Angeles Times on February 15th, 2010, lacks much of the crucial information contained and available on various state licensing board websites. The reality is that the states have not been reporting their disciplinary actions to the federal government to allow a compilation of the database.
One has to ask first, why can’t this simple project have been accomplished many, many years ago. Second, one wonders how much has been spent by the federal government “compiling” this database only to find that it is flawed and continues to be an eye-soar of no value or use. Third, why is the public excluded from reviewing this database, particularly when a doctor may open his own practice in a different state. Forth, why, after 22 years, and all of the technological advances available to us, it can’t be simply reported quickly and effectively via a online reporting function. When a state updates its website with the disciplinary action, it automatically updates the federal database.
Not only is it dangerous to the safety of patients that this database and actions of Congress are not properly functioning, but I’m sure that it costs billions of dollars to run, manage, and develop, only to be yet another white elephant in the government’s huge budget.
James Ballidis is an attorney devoted to the rights of citizens in California. If you have a personal injury, call us at 1 866 752-7474. Our consultations are always free.